Well, I’ve been here in Sydney alone since February, while my wife Rose and our son Ted Te Rau Aroha, have returned to take care of my mother-in-law Norma in New Zealand.
I’ve had a lot of work projects to deal with and my loneliness has been so intense, that on reflection, I realise it’s been driving me, motivating me and it’s been rocket fuel both for and in my work.
Every day has been waking up to: “my family, not being with me.”
I was having a conversation the other day with a colleague about how our constraints can often hold our greatest breakthroughs.
Certainly, I turned my constraint of loneliness into passion and creativity in my work.
My colleague asked me what my goals were twenty years ago…I immediately went back to my first week in New Zealand, in intensive care, praying over my newborn son in a humidicrib, while my wife was upstairs on morphine and recovering from surgery.
My goals and my prayers at that time, were the one and the same.
For my son’s heart to keep beating and my wife to get through her surgery.
I couldn’t think much past that.
You see, my life was in this slowed down universe of me and my son’s crib, surrounded by doctors, nurses, technicians and life supporting machines, blur rushing past me in their own time, their own pace.
There even was a restructure going on in the hospital at the time and all the nurses had to reapply for their jobs, fear was in the air and the medical profession has no training in sales or CV writing…so I was rewriting nurse’s resumes and giving interview strategy coaching in the waiting room over my coffee…
This has all come back to me right now.
Just like a goods train, when it brakes suddenly, each of the carriages bumping into the one in front – boom boom boom! All the years, all the times I raced to the hospital, making deals with God, all the times in hospital, when all we needed was to get past the next part of the process – the future would just take care of itself…
All of these times I now realise have made me who i am. i am not a capital I anymore.
You see, I’m no longer important as I used to be. I’m part of something larger than me. Something that matters more than me. I now think about taking care of my son and my wife…even somehow after I die.
I still haven’t got anything in place…but I’m working on it.
While I write this, Kim Jong-un and President Trump are shaking the foundation of long term plans.
The enormous damage to our ocean’s environment from the ongoing Fukushima meltdown has taken fish off human’s menu…God knows what’s next.
I asked a wise and old Irish friend of mine, Jack Kelly once: “How on earth did you guys manage through two world wars and a terrible depression? How did you put food on your table and keep a roof over your heads?”
He paused, then turned and looked a me directly and said:
“We looked after each other. We took care of each other and we shared whatever we had. We worked together and made ends meet”
You know, we all probably need to be doing that right now. Taking care of each other. Sharing what we have and working together to get us all through.
We die as individuals, but we live as part of a team, a tribe or a community.
My work with Navitas has been my work with my tribe. I’m so grateful to be welcomed into this tribe. My role as a trainer has been a role heavy with the trust of taking care of my students. I have taken that on seriously and given them everything it takes for them to have a safe place to learn about how to deal with the world of work.
Yet here I am again…my wife and son in hospital again…except we are in different countries, with different responsibilities.
My railway train has come to a stop. The past is banging into me boom boom boom.
My commitment, actions and my responsibilities have to continue for us all to survive.
So, given that this is a blog that’s dedicated to motivation, here is a good example of a guy moving forward, with cross currents of primal and contractual motivations…using his word as his guiding principle, to uphold the values he holds dear in his work…and to also support his family so far away.
Like they say:
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Watch this space.